Recipe: Oma’s Dutch Apple Tart (appeltaart)

A deliciously Dutch recipe that’s been passed down the Van De Elzen family.

Recipe: Michael Van De Elzen

My mum’s recipe for her apple tart has been handed down from her mum (my Oma) and is super traditional. Dutch cookery isn’t the healthiest cuisine in the world, but this was a real treat for us as kids. Mum would buy apples at their cheapest, then make a dozen tarts and freeze them.

The recipe works well with almost any apple variety, but with the high amount of sugar, a tart Granny Smith works the best.

You can make up big tarts and slice to serve, or if you have the time, make smaller, individual ones.

Serves: 6
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes


300g self-raising flour, sifted
100g brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
pinch salt
150g butter
1 egg, beaten
plain flour for rolling

1 cup raisins
3 tbsp brandy
4 tbsp warm water
3 apples
juice of ½ lemon
3 tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp icing sugar


In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour mix. Use a dough hook attachment and mix on low speed.

Add the beaten egg while mixing. Once the dough has formed, remove it from the bowl and knead by hand to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Cut away a third of the pastry (you’ll need it later), re-wrap, and return to the fridge. Sprinkle plenty of flour on a clean work surface and roll out the remaining pastry to 1.5cm thickness.

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Lay the pastry over a floured rolling pin, then gently drape it over a greased 20cm tart tin. Press gently into the tin and use any leftovers to patch rips or holes. Return the tin to the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Soak the raisins in brandy and warm water for 20 minutes. Peel and core the apples, then cut into thick slices. Place in a large bowl with the lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Heat oven to 180°C. Drain the raisins, add to the apple mix and toss. Get the base out of the fridge and arrange the apple mix inside. Roll out the pastry you saved earlier to at least the same diameter as the tart tin and cut into 2-3 cm strips. Use a long palette knife to lift strips off your work surface and lay over the apple filling in a lattice pattern.

Brush the pastry lattice with water and dust with icing sugar. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Serve warm with a dollop of coffee cream (recipe below) and a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Coffee Cream

Makes: 1 cup approximately
Prep time: 3 minutes


½ cup cream
½ tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp strong espresso


Whip cream and sugar until thick. Fold in espresso until combined.


This pastry is very short and crumbly. Rolling it out is quite a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. A few tips:

1. Keep the pastry really cold and work quickly;
2. Fill any holes with some off-cuts.

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NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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